Warning: This post contains lots of (painted) nudity. Read at your own risk.
The human body is a work of art in itself. Few know this better than artist Ben Hopper, who, in his series "Transfiguration," transforms the bare physiques of dancers and circus performers into living sculptures, more like 3D Jackson Pollock paintings or John Chamberlain sculptures than human beings.
With the help of a little paint and powder, Hopper creates masks for the entire body, encasing the identity of the subject in an abstracted, mysterious form, something not quite human, not quite sculpture. Choosing to work primarily with dancers and circus performers, Hopper arranged his subjects into highly contorted formations, each limb and trunk twisted into a nearly unrecognizable shape. When asked about his hopes for the project, Hopper explained to The Huffington Post: "It's the mystery and the darkness. It's all beautiful to me."
"Each photo is charged with kinetic energy, only heightened by the bold streaks of body paint and splatters of white powder," wrote Stephanie Chan on Beautiful Decay. "Some of the photographs look like cubist paintings because of the contrast between black, white, and human flesh along with the seemingly impossible angles and feats of flexibility performed by the subjects. The body paint looks almost like strokes of charcoal, creating depth while also the illusion of two-dimensionality."
If you love the bewilderment of optical illusions and the ever entrancing beauty of body paint on an unclothed stranger, look no further. Check out Hopper's series below and visit his Facebook and Twitter to learn more about the artist.